Photo credits Gani Fawehinmi Library

Photo credits Gani Fawehinmi Library

Yea! You heard right! He was right there. The irrepressible, consistent, passionate and trail blazing Chief Abdul-Ganiyu Oyesola Fawehinmi, the Senior Advocate of the Masses and passionate fighter for social justice.

I couldn’t believe it. I remember at his death in September 2009, my best pal and classmate had sent me a text lamenting;

“He was meant to offer us his chambers for Law School attachment. We had hoped for his handshake as we were being admitted into the Bar. But all that is gone. Gani is gone.”

Then I was grieving like her for the loss of my hero. The lawyer we all wanted to be like. The model lawyer who in the world of Sappara Williams “lived and died for his country”, the icon of the Nigerian masses and the conscience of the nation.

I had followed the news of Gani’s death and burial on the internet and other mass media. I read all the tributes, funeral orations and the news reports on the burial. It was a pity I couldn’t attend my hero’s funeral but still bid him farewell.

I smiled when I saw him defiant as ever with a raised clenched fist in the air. I approached him and he told me “Stand up for what is right, even if you are standing alone”. I chuckled as I said to myself (and maybe to him) that death has not diminished the legend of Gani. I took pictures and as I struggled to get a perfect selfie, a learned brother offered to help me out.

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I had gone to Court in Ikeja and before the Court started sitting, I had made a dash to the Ikeja Bar centre for any scoops or bits of news. As I approached, I saw him clearly, gallant and unmoved as rain showers trickled down on him. With his clenched fist in the air, he seemed to be saying “bring it on”.

It was just a picture of Gani advertising the publication of the Fawehinmiism Lecture Series from 2005 – 2014 organised by the NBA Ikeja branch. Titled “Stand Up for what is Right, Even if You are Standing Alone”, the book is a 275 page publication containing lectures delivered by very erudite and eminent personalities from various disciplines on various legal and socio-political issues.

A picture that spoke a thousand words, though still and in black white it lived in artistic expression and communicated its silent but loud message, set us on a voyage of excursion into memory and a hearing of Gani’s voice as it thundered from the grave.

I quickly picked a copy for N2,000. 00 and never stopped reading while I waited for my matter to be called. Luckily for me, I was number 24 on the list. I had encountered Gani and he spoke to me, I continued interacting with him as I read on.

Indeed Gani lives on as he continues his glorious dance on the stage of memory!

“Stand up for What is Right, Even If You are Standing Alone” is available at the Ikeja Bar Centre for the sum of N2, 000. 00 and is a great publication that every lawyer should have. The NBA Ikeja Fawehinmism Organising Committee deserve a thumbs up for bringing all the lectures delivered in the Fawehinmism Lecture Series from 2005 – 2014 under one publication.

Postscript: Contributions are welcomed from other readers of the blog on their experience as either  lawyers, law students or other members of the society on their experiences with or views about lawyers. Peace.

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Maduka Onwukeme is an Attorney, Creative Writer and Business Consultant. Follow him on Twitter, on Facebook or on Linkedin

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